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WNN Breaking

Young girl in Tamil Nadu State, India takes TB meds

A young girl-child in Chennai, the capital city in the Tamil Nadu State of India, takes a cocktail of medications prescribed for Tuberculosis. Image: Gary Hampton/WHO

(WNN) Washington, D.C., UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: Today it is feared that the number of global child deaths from TB could go higher only because many children around the world are undiagnosed as the disease takes its toll.

As more than 74,000 children continue to die each year from a deadly form of Tuberculosis. The disease can be prevented though, says the WHO – World Health Organization in a new report on global TB and children. Now the first ever international action plan is part of a concerted direction made through international partners who are working together to stop the disease in its tracks.

Launched this week the WHO report called, “The Roadmap for Childhood TB: Toward Zero Deaths,” has brought some of the ‘big hitters’ in global disease prevention together to discuss the newest options in eliminating Tuberculosis from our planet. This high powered list includes: UNICEF, Stop TB Partnership, WHO – World Health Organization, The UNION – International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, the CDC – (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TAG – Treatment Action Group and USAID – United States Agency for International Development.

“The new roadmap builds on the latest knowledge of the disease and identifies clear actions to prevent these child deaths,” outlines WHO.

With new funding from the U.S. equaling $120 million dollars per year is bringing the goal to governments focused on saving children’s lives as they suffer from the debilitating effects of TB, as well as HIV, a dual condition that affects children in global regions that have been most strongly impacted by HIV/AIDS. A specific $40 million dollars of the annual funding is going for HIV antiretroviral therapy, as well as TB preventive therapy.

Detection of the disease is also considered to be a front-line defense in slowing the growth of TB as programs including mothers and maternal care are brought into the campaign. Proper medicines, vaccines and diagnostics are also part of the partnership launch in efforts to save lives.

“Every day, more than 200 children under the age of 15 die needlessly from TB – a disease that is preventable and curable,” outlines WHO – World Health Organization.

Getting more paediatric health professionals to actively screen for TB with better tools, i.e. drugs, diagnostics and vaccines, will help capture the full scope of the epidemic and reach more children with life-saving treatment sooner,” adds WHO.

Today 1 in 10 global TB cases worldwide can be found among the younger than age 15 group.

“Far too many children with tuberculosis are not getting the treatment they need,” says Nicholas Alipui, Director of Programmes for UNICEF. “Most of these children live in the poorest, most vulnerable households. It is wrong that any children should die for want of a simple, affordable cure, especially where there are community-based options to deliver life-saving interventions,”Alipui continued.

To know more about this important campaign link HERE

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